Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Oral ingestion of hexavalent chromium through drinking water and cancer mortality in an industrial area of Greece--an ecological study
Linos, A., Petralias, A., Christophi, C. A., Christoforidou, E., Kouroutou, P., Stoltidis, M., Veloudaki, A., Tzala, E., Makris, K. C., Karagas, M. R. Environ Health. 2011. 10, 50.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant
Study design
Funding agency
Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
No analysis based on menopausal status
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
9 female breast cancer deaths/5,842 registered permanent residents of Oinofita industrial region any time between 1999-2009. Number of women in the population was not specified. Deaths identified from municipal vital statistics department.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Residence in Oinofita industrial region, where hexavalent chromium was detected in public drinking water as a result of testing in 2007-2008. The reference was mortality for the Viotia prefecture, to which Oinofita municipality belongs.
How exposure was measured
Geographic location
Exposure assessment comment
It has been reported that the Oinofita region has hexavalent chromium-contaminated water, with high levels ranging between 41 and 156 ug/L. No water samples were collected in this study; time living in the area was an indicator of exposure.
Early life exposures considered
Age distribution (including early life exposures) for all cancer mortalities was recorded, but not included in breast cancer risk estimates.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Strength of associations reported
Breast cancer mortality in Oinofita compared to Voiotia: SMR 133.6 (95% CI 61.1-253.5)
Author address
Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias str,, Athens, 11527, Greece. a.linos@prolepsis.gr